Henson, Edward Burton

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Edward Burton Henson, born April 20, 1925, departed this life on October 23, 2022.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Atkinson Henson, son, Perry Henson and wife Gloria, and daughter, Kathy Henson Klaudt. Grandchildren are Michael Henson (Karen), Kari Howard (Gordon), Kristi Snapp, Jessica Largen (DJ) and Michaela Liles (Wade). Great-grandchildren are Justin Henson (Kayla), Katelyn Roberts (Jake), Abigail, Isaiah and Sarah Henson, Joshua, Haley and Hunter Howard, Ian and Josie Snapp, JJ and Melody Largen, and Sadie and Sawyer Liles. Great-great-grandchildren are Emerson and Barrett Roberts, and Blaire and Ivan Henson.

Ed was born in Pontatoc County, Oklahoma to Perry Oscar Henson and Mary Lou Crawford Henson, and grew up in western Oklahoma near the Washita River in Custer County. He survived polio, a flood, the depression in the Great Dust Bowl, and hard work in cotton fields with his family who were share-croppers. In 1941 his parents bought a farm in Oil Center, OK which is near Ada. Even though some would consider him handicapped, he was always expected to do his share of work.

He had three brothers, Glenn, Murril, and Donald Ray who was the youngest. Like his brothers he dropped out of school in the tenth grade. In 1943 he went to work in Oklahoma City and in a church service there he heard about a high school and college in Franklin Springs, GA. At Franklin Springs Institute he first saw Lois Marie Atkinson. The young men and women were not allowed to speak to each other except during a monthly social, which is where he and Lois had their first conversation. Until that time they had to be content with smiles and waves in passing.

After WWII started, he took and passed the pilot’s test for the Army Air Corps, but due to the effects of polio he did not pass the physical test. Instead, he worked helping build ships in the Norfolk shipyard, climbing ladders and scaffolding as a welder.

On September 14, 1945 he and Lois married and lived in Roanoke. He got a job on the market at Parker’s Seafood. After handling fish all day he said he never had trouble getting a seat to himself on the bus ride home. On July 16, 1946 their son Joseph Perry was born and their daughter Kathryn Jewel was born on September 27, 1955.

In college he majored in math and minored in physics, and earned his master’s degree at the University of Virginia in Science Education. He taught mostly in high school and was also a principal at Alleghany School and Belleview Elementary. In 1968 he was offered a job at Emmanuel College back in Franklin Springs as Dean of Men. He and his wife and Kathy lived in an apartment on the first floor of the men’s dorm. Lois taught first grade in a nearby elementary school.

His service at Emmanuel spanned four decades. During that time he impacted the lives of hundreds of students. He felt that discipline and defined boundaries was important, and that not holding young people accountable to these boundaries did them an injustice. Countless former students have approached him over the years and expressed their thanks for this, even though they may not have appreciated it at the time.

After retiring he became a member of Gideons International. He distributed hundreds or possibly thousands of Bibles to college campuses, schools and motels. Nothing was more important to him than serving God and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was a member of the Piedmont Pentecostal Holiness Church.

Ed, Daddy, Papa was greatly loved and his Godly influence, sweet smile, humor, and love for his family will be forever remembered and missed.

Visitation is Thursday, October 27, 2022, from 5-7:30 p.m. at Horne Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held on Friday, October 28, 2022, at 2 p.m. in the Horne Funeral Home Chapel.